Authorities in Anguilla Call Darien Man a Fugitive

Authorities in Anguilla are calling a father from Darien, Connecticut who has been charged in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla a fugitive after he declined to return to the British Caribbean territory for the latest pretrial hearing.

Scott Hapgood, of Darien, has been charged with manslaughter. He kept silent on the ordeal for months but spoke out publicly for the first time in August to call the whole situation a “living nightmare.”

Hapgood, an investment banker, says he was fighting to protect his family when a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation and demanded money before attacking them, and then died during the struggle. He did not go into details regarding specifics of the attack, just that he was acting in self-defense and trying to save his wife and three children.

A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Monday and a spokesman for Scott Hapgood said Anguillan officials have not given assurances that his client would be allowed to return home on bond. Spokesman Jamie Diaferia says there also have been death threats against Hapgood, adding that Anguilla officials rejected an offer for Hapgood to appear by video Monday.

Dwight Horsford, the attorney general of Anguilla, released a statement on Tuesday and said the presiding magistrate adjourned for a further hearing after Hapgood failed to appear.

“In consequence of this wilful (sic) defiance of the High Court Order, a bench warrant will be sought from the High Court Judge for his arrest. When this is shortly obtained this will be circulated through Interpol to police forces around the world. The bail bond of EC$200,000.00 has been forfeited. Other formal processes will now commence regarding Hapgood who is now a fugitive,” Horsford said in a statement. 

Juliya Arbisman, attorney for Scott Hapgood, did not have a comment on the news release from the attorney general and said in a statement that they have not seen the judge’s order and cannot comment on something they have not seen. 

Governor Tim Foy, of Anguilla, released a statement on Facebook, saying Hapgood should have no concerns regarding his safety and the grounds for his failure to return to Anguilla are “groundless.” 

“Like me, he should have no concerns regarding his safety. Anguillians are a law abiding and peaceful people as clearly evidenced during his previous court appearances. He should share my confidence in the Royal Anguilla Police Force and the arrangements made for his return - arrangements which his own legal team and visiting State Department officials complimented during his previous appearances,” Foy’s statement says, in part. 

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